Just as the public were thinking that the issue of taxi fare coupon system has died down, another picket attended by one hundred protesting taxi drivers erupted just outside the vicinity of The Zon shopping mall in Jalan Stulang Laut, here, yesterday.
The 3pm incident saw protesting taxi drivers whom they identified themselves as Coupon System Protest Action Group carried placards voicing their dissatisfaction over the alleged unfair implementation of the taxi fare coupon system.
Accompanied by several representatives from the group, the chairman, Samsul Kahar Othman, 45, handed a memorandum to The Zon shopping mall general manger, Raja Hishamudin Raja Adzham.
The deputy chairman for the association of Johor Bahru Registered Taxi Associations (GAPET), Abdul Rahman Arif, said, the picket should have been held to cover more venues as the implementation of the coupon system has burdened both the concumers and taxi drivers.
” In fact, the government and the Public Land Transport Commission (SPAD) should have allowed the taxi fare increase instead of approving private companies to operate and manage the implementation taxi fare coupon system in the county,” he added.
“As the city tourism ambassadors, we felt we have been treated unfairly and the system should be abolished” said Abdul Rahman when asked by reporters.
Meanhwile, the chief operating officer of Mesra Indah Jaya Sdn. Bhd. (MIJ), the private company which has been given the approval by SPAD to implement and manage the coupon system, Norayusliza Abdul Karim, said, the company will continue to operate as usual for the overall benefits of the consumers and taxi drivers even though there are some issues that have not been fully resolved.
“By implementing the taxi fare coupon system is one effective way to avoid consumers being fleeced by some unscrupulous taxi drivers and to also ensure that consumers short destination travel needs are served by taxis within the city,” she added.
Currently, taxi fare coupon system has been implemented in several city populated spots like in Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal, Plaza Angsana shopping mall and Johor Bahru Sentral.
The moves to implement the coupon system in these areas have also met with similar strong protest from the city taxi drivers.